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Gimme, gimme, gimme
Almost half way through a new year and it’s time for some changes. Time for a new website, a new blog, and time for a new face. 2012 is the Year of Faces. Whose face? My face. Your face. Or a face like yours. Hopefully, if I get my way, 100 faces.

Let’s face it, it’s time to face facts. This is a face-off and there’s no saving face this time. We’re going face to face, so put on your best face, gimme some face-time, and roll with a man of many faces.
I can keep going, I’ve got more. Seriously, I made a list.

The real deal is that I love me some faces, and I’m going to paint 100 of them. I want ’em all, too. But I don’t just want those beautiful, symmetrical, Natalie Portman-looking faces that painters love to paint. I’m not calling for those faces that turn boys into drooling savants or rouse their dreams to become rock-stars. I don’t need those will-breaking faces that always prove exception to the rules – those faces that change an “I’m not interested” to “I think I love you”, that open wallets or get late papers accepted “just this once.” No, no. Not this time. You girls don’t get your way in this game. This game isn’t for those high cheek bones, strong chins, and perfect lips. This one is for all the other faces. The imperfects. The asymmetricals. The almost pretties. The should be’s and the could have beens. The faces that would be stunning, that would be perfect if they were a bit less, y’know… normal?

I’m seeking weak chins and puffy cheeks; I dig crow’s feet and laugh lines, big noses and receding hairlines.
I’m searching for the faces that belong to, as I like to call them, The Rest of Us.

Put on your white sombrero
Which means I’m talking to you. 100 of you. I want your face and I don’t even care if it’s your best face, as long as it fits the criterion of one of my best pick-up lines: “I ain’t lookin’ for beautiful, baby, just interesting.” I’m going to paint 100 portraits of 100 people like you. And if I’m going to paint 100 portraits, I need 100 models. And if I’m going to go to the trouble of working with 100 different models, I may as well make it interesting. I mean, that’s 10 more than 90, which has the potential to get real old. So, the more interesting the better.

Don’t go wasting your emotion
Why am I doing this, you may ask. What’s the point? As I’ve learned as a gringo living in Bogotá, whys don’t aways matter. Why does the non-English-speaking doorman of my apartment building crank Abba six days a week and sing every word in perfect English? Why do taxi cabs have seat belts in the back seat, but no receiver to buckle them into? I’ve given up on the whys. Sometimes there are more meaningful questions. Some things aren’t about the why, they’re simply done, and then the only real question is how. How does one memorize an entire album in another language without understanding the meaning? How will I keep from being jettisoned through a windshield without the working half of a seatbelt? Perhaps they’re just contours of the Colombian portrait, imperfect features on their face. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not championing non-working seat-belts or their combination with some seriously crazy-assed cab drivers. I’m just saying that some situations require a shift in focus. I’m just saying that I fancy 100 others interested in how rather than why.

Take a chance on me
Sounds good on the face of it, right? But what’s the catch?
There’s no catch. This is like the Peace Corps – do it for the adventure. Volunteer. I want you to work for free. I’m not offering anything material. I’m not giving anything away. I’m going to do a big, really cool project, and I’m looking for people to participate. And some people want to see themselves in a painting. You send me your picture and I may paint it. I have some standards, some guidelines, and I’m on the lookout for something that makes it interesting, but that’s all there is to it.

Get on the carousel
Stick around and I’ll tell you more about the hows when my next post rolls out. Until then, exercise that normal face and work on that sultry model pout. And I suppose if you happen to be one of those lovely, Lara Logan-esque ladies, you can participate; I’ll make an exception, but just this once.

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